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The 71st edition of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad was held on 27 February 2016.[1] It was won by Belgian Greg Van Avermaet in a five-man sprint before Peter Sagan and Tiesj Benoot.[2]

2016 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
2016 UCI Europe Tour
Podium of the race: Peter Sagan, Greg Van Avermaet and Tiesj Benoot
Podium of the race: Peter Sagan, Greg Van Avermaet and Tiesj Benoot
Race details
DatesFebruary 27, 2016 (2016-02-27)
Distance200.8 km (124.8 mi)
Winning time4h 54' 12"
  Winner  Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) (BMC Racing Team)
  Second  Peter Sagan (SVK) (Tinkoff)
  Third  Tiesj Benoot (BEL) (Lotto–Soudal)
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The race started and finished in Ghent, Belgium, covering 200.8 km.[3] The Omloop marked the start of the cobbled classics season in Europe and was rated as a 1.HC event of the 2016 UCI Europe Tour.




The Omloop Het Nieuwsblad started in Ghent, East Flanders, and addressed the Flemish Ardennes in the south of the province, featuring numerous short climbs, before returning to Ghent.[3] This edition, organizers needed to find an alternative for the traditional start and finish location on Sint-Pietersplein.[N 1] In 2016 organizers chose Citadel Park [nl], the site adjacent to the Kuipke velodrome, as the start location. The finish was on Emile Claus thoroughfare, close to the starting place.[4]

At 200 kilometres and with a dozen climbs in the hill zone, the course was challenging and arduous. Additionally, there were several flat stretches of cobbles.[5] The race featured one new climb, Boembekeberg, as a replacement for the Molenberg, which was skipped because of road works.[3][6]

There are thirteen categorized climbs:[3]

Climbs in the 2016 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad[3]
No. Name Distance from finish (km) Road surface Length (m) Average gradient (%) Maximum gradient (%)
1 Leberg 141 asphalt 950 4.2% 13.8%
2 Berendries 137 asphalt 940 7% 12.3%
3 Tenbosse 132 asphalt 450 6.9% 8.7%
4 Eikenmolen 127 asphalt 610 5.9% 12.5%
5 Muur van Geraardsbergen 115 cobbles 1.075 9.3% 19.8%
6 Valkenberg 97 asphalt 540 8.1% 12.8%
7 Kaperij 78 asphalt 1.000 5.5% 9%
8 Kruisberg 67 asphalt/cobbles 950 4.8% 9%
9 Taaienberg 57 cobbles 530 6.6% 15.8%
10 Eikenberg 52 cobbles 1.200 5.2% 10%
11 Wolvenberg 48 asphalt 645 7.9% 17.3%
12 Leberg 38 asphalt 950 4.2% 13.8%
13 Boembeke[7] 32 asphalt 1.200 5% 7%

Pre-race favouritesEdit

Britain's Ian Stannard, the winner of the previous two editions, was not present in this year's event. World champion Peter Sagan was among the key favourites, together with classics specialists Alexander Kristoff, Tom Boonen, Greg Van Avermaet and Philippe Gilbert.[8][9] Former world time trial champion Tony Martin made a first appearance.[10]


25 teams were invited: 12 UCI WorldTeams and 13 continental teams.[N 2][N 3][11][12] In total, 199 riders were at the start.[N 4][13]


Professional Continental teams

Continental teams

Race reportEdit

Twelve riders, among which Alexis Gougeard, were in the early breakaway, as Etixx–Quick-Step and Team Katusha held them within range of the peloton. Greg Van Avermaet, Luke Rowe and Tiesj Benoot broke clear on Taaienberg, immediately being joined by Peter Sagan on the descent. The four riders caught the remaining early escapees and dropped them all on the last cobbled sections, except for Gougeard. Powering on to Ghent, the elite group stayed clear until the finish and the race was decided in a five-man sprint. Van Avermaet led out the slightly uphill sprint from afar and sealed his first win of the season. Sagan was second, Benoot third. Jens Debusschere won the sprint for sixth place, nine seconds behind Van Avermaet.[2][14]


Greg Van Avermaet (pictured in 2013) sealed his first win of 2016 in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
Rank Rider Team Time
1   Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) BMC Racing Team 4h 54' 12"
2   Peter Sagan (SVK) Tinkoff s.t.
3   Tiesj Benoot (BEL) Lotto–Soudal s.t.
4   Luke Rowe (GBR) Team Sky s.t.
5   Alexis Gougeard (FRA) AG2R La Mondiale + 6"
6   Jens Debusschere (BEL) Lotto–Soudal + 9"
7   Adrien Petit (FRA) Direct Énergie s.t.
8   Edward Theuns (BEL) Trek–Segafredo s.t.
9   Jasper Stuyven (BEL) Trek–Segafredo s.t.
10   Mathieu Ladagnous (FRA) FDJ s.t.


  1. ^ Every seven years, when Easter comes early in the year, Ghent's largest square, Sint-Pietersplein, is booked for the annual Mid-Lent fair.
  2. ^ As a 1.HC event, the race organizers could invite up to 70 % UCI WorldTeams as a total of the line-up.
  3. ^ Team Giant–Alpecin withdrew at the last moment, because they were unable to line up enough riders, after a severe accident in an early-season training camp left several riders injured.
  4. ^ Teams were limited to eight riders, for a maximum field of 200 riders.


  1. ^ "Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite 2016 - Classic". ProCyclingStats. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  2. ^ a b Benson, Daniel; Decaluwé, Brecht. "Van Avermaet wins Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite". Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Roadmap" (PDF). Flanders Classics. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Bekijk hier het gewijzigde parcours van de Omloop Het Nieuwsblad". Het Nieuwsblad. Mediahuis. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  5. ^ "Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite 2016". Cycling News. Immediate Media Company. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  6. ^ Wynn, Nigel. "Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne 2016 preview". Cycling Weekly. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  7. ^ "Boembeek". Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  8. ^ Clarke, Stuart. "10 riders to look out for at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad". cycling Weekly. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  9. ^ "Zij zijn klaar voor de Omloop Het Nieuwsblad". Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). Mediahuis. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  10. ^ O'Shea, Sadhbh. "riders to watch for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne - Video". Cycling News. Immediate Media Company. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  11. ^ Clarke, Stuart. "Giant-Alpecin pull out of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad". Cycling Weekly. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  12. ^ "Veranda's Willems vervangt Giant-Alpecin in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad". Het Nieuwsblad. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  13. ^ "List of participants Omloop Het Nieuwsblad" (PDF). official website. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  14. ^ "Van Avermaet schiet meteen raak in de Omloop". (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 1 March 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2016.

External linksEdit